he was born to teenager and lived with her in prison for a while as a baby before being seized by social services. He went to a few foster homes and knew some abuse before he was adopted. When he was a teenager he ran into his mother on the street, she pretended not to know him. He ran away from home a few times and at 15 left home for good. He wandered across the country and foudn himself a nickel short of a beer in a Timmins, Ontario, bar. The bar owner saidf he give him the beer if he played a few songs on his guitar. He ended up playing there regularly for over a year.
Lots of news about it in Canada tonight. All the political leaders, including the Prime Minister, are giving tributes.
This is why Canada is not known for its musical accomplishments, eh?
You mean other than Céline Dion, R7?
He's a joke, r7.
People make fun of him because he represents a certain time and low rent place in Canadian culture.
That corny Canadian culture was the worst/best thing about growing up in Canada in the '70's. Lots of Stompin' Tom, Bruno Gerussi and seven minute woodchuck documentaries on the CBC. The megaglossy, "with it"-ness of the media in Canada today has no hick parody factor - it's no fun.
[quote]seven minute woodchuck documentaries on the CBC.
OMFG that's hilarious. I just jolted the dog awake and scared the crap out of her with my laughter.
Do you remember a giant grey beaver and a cucumber by any chance?
No, he wasn't a joke - he was meant to represent the ordinary folks in the small towns and communities and stand for some of Canada's down to earth customs.
r9 - Nah, nobody's laughing AT him. It's more like what r10 says. He's this corny, Canadian cultural touchstone.
That depends where you are, r13.
Some people do, particularly in an ironic way. I remember a campaign to either get him on a fan award ballot or have him perform at an awards show. The campaign started as a joke by younger radio DJs in Ontario (the Edge, I think).
r14 - Really? Only the callow would think it clever to point and laugh at Stompin Tom. And don't even pretend you've been able to get that hockey song out of your head all night.
I love Canada, where else in the world can you find a massive country with the culture of a quirky small town?
It doesn't have a small town culture at all.
Small towns are vicious places.
Yes, it does, r23.
Canada has a scary, nasty underbelly that even many Canadians don't know about.
The press in this country leaves much to be desired. They are more concerned with their social status than reporting the news.
No matter how great he or you thinks he is, he doesn't come close to Anne Murray.
She's Canada's national treasure.
Well, I could see modern-day Ontario making fun of him - they wouldn't get him at all. And they'd imagine they were "sophisticated" and "cool" to make fun of him.
As R10 said all that corny stuff from the 1970s is pretty much dead. If it exists in any form now it is underground and unreported. The focus of the Canadian media, entertainment, culture, and politics now is money, money, money. Justin Beiber, Dragon's Den and "Owning the Podium." Pride in inflated real estate prices. It's just gross and depressing - no room for parody.
r26 - That's true, sadly. But there's still an appetite for it - on my FB feed, young, old and in-between were sentimental about Stompin Tom.
And yet I agree with r23 that the small towns I knew were vicious places.
R24, is correct. The Canadian Press is a gaggle of Becky Sharps, always on the lookout for a rich husband!
Alvin Lee of Ten Years After died too, but I can't start a thread.
As a Yank I'm very curious about your Canadian comments. What makes the little towns vicious, and is there a rural v. urban competitive crisis going on?
Well, what I think makes the little towns vicious is that there is nothing in them so they all depressed and have inferiority complexies, there's nothing to do so they gossip and attack each other in families and hate their neighbours and get drunk. But I didn't post about "vicious small towns" earlier so maybe the other people can add to that. And of course, they are homophobic, too. Really paranoid about homosexuality.
Canada's dirty secret is its racism. Some sections of the country make the Deep South look fairly progressive.
r32 - That's a ridiculous, drama queen statement. Canada has racists like everywhere else. And racism toward First Nations people is ridiculously common but it's certainly no secret.
In terms of the vicious little towns, I went to elementary school in a small town. Things may have progressed considerably since then, but at that time, the town consisted primarily of poor Ukrainian Catholics and German Mennonites (not the hard core, colony-living kind). My family was atheist, so we were always outsiders. (This was a good thing.) It was just a hopeless, ugly place. Corrupt town officials & police force, grim prospects for young people (drugs, high drop out & teen pregnancy rate), no cultural activities. In general, lots of backwards shit swept under the carpet. I've blocked most of it out.
Definitely occurrences of a pretty toxic nation-wide inferiority complex - it's tiresome and self-invented - but little racism in the town where I grew up. Maybe the occasional hurled epithet, but not much. People seemed to get along alright, freezing their asses off together.
That's good to know, just in case we have to invade your country and steal your resources.